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Marty Friedman Hopes For 'Slow and Painful Death' of Traditional Guitar Solos

'They need something to keep listeners involved, especially those who are not learning to play and only listen,' the shredder said.

Marty Friedman
Source: MEGA

Marty Friedman shared his thoughts on the state of modern guitar solos during a recent interview.

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Former Megadeth member Marty Friedman's iconic solos are a huge part of his appeal, but the shredder is not a fan of the way most guitarists approach them these days.

"I hope the traditional guitar solo dies a slow and painful death," he said during an interview featured in the newest edition of Guitar World. "Usually, the lead guitarist comes in, gets an eight-bar solo, plays a bunch of stupid licks, maybe adds something hot and fancy that will impress, and then they get out." Freidman said this approach has "killed" guitar solos in mainstream music.

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Dave Mustaine
Source: MEGA

The musician's is best known for his stint in Dave Mustaine's Megadeth back in the 1990s.

"The obligation to say, 'I need to do something flashy and get out' … that’s where the death of the solo notion comes in," he said. "They need something to keep listeners involved, especially those who are not learning to play and only listen."

Friedman explained that rock musicians shouldn't only be writing songs for other guitarists.

"When you're learning to play, you tend to be impressed with anything you can’t do, right? And if you’re young and just catching the guitar bug, that excitement can be magical. It’s like, 'How do they do that!?' That element is awesome," he said.

"But it means less than zero in everyone else’s eyes," the guitarist added. "We need guitar music that makes those people feel something. It’s the responsibility of guitarists to bring something to solos that will achieve that."

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Friedman hasn't lost all hope.

"Things look promising because there’s a ton of great guitar work. There are a lot of exciting approaches out there by people who look at the instrument in cool ways," he said.

The legend also had some advice for those trying to compose a compelling solo.

"All that other eight-bar and tapping stuff; that’s got to be over," he said. "There must be something melodically unique that connects us on a higher level. That’s what I’m looking for from guitar today, and I hope it’s what young players are searching for, too."

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Friedman joined Megadeth in 1990 after spending the late 1980s shredding in bands like Cacophony and Hawaii.

He first appeared alongside Dave Mustaine on the LP Rust in Peace, which is widely considered one of the best thrash records of all time. The album has been certified platinum in the U.S.

Friedman remained with Megadeth for five more releases before leaving the band in 2000.

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The guitarist moved to Japan in 2003, where he's become a surprisingly prominent pop culture figure. Friedman makes frequent television appearances in the country and has launched a successful solo career.

His most recent solo LP Tokyo Jukebox 3 came out in 2021. The musician and his wife Hiyori Okuda, a cellist, released a holiday track called "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" last year.

After more than two decades away from Megadeth, the guitarist reunited with the band to play three classic songs during their show in Tokyo last February. He followed that up with a similar appearance when Megadeth played Germany's iconic Wacken Open Air festival in August.


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